Fresh off the wire

A mea culpa to 49ers fans: ATL's Power Poll


I upset a lot of San Francisco 49ers fans this preseason because I was the only one of 16 writers to pick the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West.

They have let me hear about it every day since. Forget for a moment that 10 more surprising things happen every season than the 49ers not winning the division. (The 49ers going 13-3 last season for instance. Or the fact only one division champ repeated last year.) Forget that it's only two weeks into the season and the Seahawks just came off a very impressive win.

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To the 49ers faithful out there, I would just like to say this: No team has looked better in the first two games this season. Alex Smith's strong training camp has carried over. The passing game is more of a weapon, and the running game is the hardest to prepare for in football. The continuity on defense has helped them pick right up where they left off.

San Francisco is No. 1 in our Power Poll, and that's where they deserve to be. You can see all 13 analysts' picks right here and check out my 32 below. I plan to hold my position as the last analyst listed on the Power Poll page all season. Very proud.

1. 49ers
2. Packers
3. Texans
4. Patriots
5. Ravens
6. Falcons
7. Eagles
8. Steelers
9. Giants
10. Seahawks
11. Cardinals
12. Broncos
13. Chargers
14. Jets
15. Saints
16. Panthers
17. Bears
18. Cowboys
19. Lions
20. Bengals
21. Redskins
22. Rams
23. Bills
24. Buccaneers
25. Chiefs
26. Colts
27. Vikings
28. Dolphins
29. Titans
30. Jaguars
31. Browns
32. Raiders

Notes: With only six 2-0 teams, there's a lot of room for playing favorites here. I still believe in the Patriots, Ravens and Steelers as elite teams. (Just like I did before the year.) I'm buying in on the NFC West as a new power division. I expected the 49ers and Lions to take a step back this year. Detroit has done nothing to convince me otherwise.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.